Eating out in Slovenia
Having a great food experience is an important part of your holiday, whether you like to eat fine food or try local dishes and we suggest you need to start getting very excited indeed about all the amazing food options avaialble here in Green Slovenia, cos we reckon the choice here is nothing short of SENSATIONAL!
We have gotten to know so much more about Slovenian cuisine over the years and it has been a real pleasure, (mostly), testing out local restaurants and other nationwide eateries at our newly discovered Secret Places to Visit tips, so we can give our guests great advice about where to eat! So this Eating Out webpage has grown and grown like a juicy red local tomato!
Slovenian Food is rapidly being discovered and praised all around the world.. and RIGHT HERE & RIGHT NOW we will let you into the secret which makes Green Slovenian food just unbeatable..
Simple, locally produced food and wine.. Grown, prepared and presented on the plate with love.. that's it!
Yep, imagine sitting on the terrace of a beautiful restaurant, where you can look out over fields where the food on your plate was actually grown and see the vineyards where your glass of wine came from.. welcome to Green Slovenia!
You just cannot do that in Berlin or New York or Manchester or any other place where our guests come from.. so we humbly suggest you just get out there and enjoy it all as much as possible while you are here in Green Slovenia!
There is another geographic twist that helps makes Slovenian food so fantastic too, with this tiddly country being located in the centre of Europe and so the cuisine here is heavily influenced by & sandwiched between Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia.. fantstic food countries in their own right.
We also had a bit of luck when we found our south western location for Lipizzaner Lodge.. we deliberately chose the very best geographic location for guests to explore Green Slovenia, but we didnt know at the time we had also hit the bullseye for a massive choice of fab local Slovenian restaurants too!
We had inadvertently landed the Lodge within easy reach of so many different food inluences, excellent local restaurants and a multi crossing point of Slovenian mini regions with different food styles.. right on our doorstep!
It means Lodge guests are just 5-20 minutes drive away from so many completely different local restaurants that specialise in different regional food & wine with great service and at reasonable prices..
To be clear, we are NOT claiming we are sat in the middlle of a bunch of Michellin star restaurants.. (we wouldn't want to be) and Slovenia has a host of these popping up everywhere quite rightly anyway.. Some of our guests will make a point to go visit one or two during their stay..
But we are talking about what most of our guests and visitors really want.. a fantastic choice of nearby local restaurants in lovely settings providing a real taste of local food!
So you do not need to go to a Michelin star restaurant in Green Slovenia to have a meal that stays in the memory..
It was only really very recently that the penny properly dropped for us about our fantastic food location here..
Of course, we long suspected it, but we have travelled all over Green Slovenia finding secret places to visit and trying out local restaurants and it was only after another daytrip up to the Alps that we both realised how incredibly lucky we are to live here in the south west of Slovenia with such a fab choice of food options for our guests!
OF COURSE, there are wonderful restaurants all over Slovenia and it is part of our mission to find them and let our Guests know all about them and OF COURSE you can get a great meal up in the three Slovenian Alps or in the East of the country and every other corner too..
But we have noticed that ALL these other different mini regions do tend to stick with their regional prefences, which taste great for the first time, but offer less choice the second and third times and are often quite heavy on meat..
So being able to pick and choose from lots of nearby different mini regions and food influences here so close to the Lodge is the secret magic ingredient to Lipizzaner Lodge guests having a fantastic local and varied food experience!
APPETIZER.. Lipizzaner Lodge is located on the edge of several fantastic Slovenian mini regions, each with their own local food specialities. Our own mini region was part of Italy between the wars so expect really fantastic pizzas and varieties of Slovenian-Italian food.
Just around the corner on the other side of Mt Nanos is the stunning Vipava wine region, with some of the best local restaurants in Slovenia.. And within 15 mins towards the coast, we hit another different "Teran Karst" mini region with blood red wines, prosciutto and other specialities too.
So if our Guests want to eat out we can offer a choice of 19 fantastic local restaurants within a 5 - 20 min drive and our five Vipava Valley recommendations are all inside 25 mins away!
That was really quite a lot for you to digest, but we wanted to explain it all properly, so NOW we tell you ALL about the yummy options available here, below, in our EATING OUT section.. please unravel your napkin, take a sip of a fantastic unique local Slovenian wine and pull up your seat..
Lots and Lots of Eating Out Options Close to the Lodge..
We absolutely encourage you to go out and about to try the varied and fantastic local Slovenian cuisine. Like we said, we are located at a real crossing point for different cuisines and there are so many different fantastic local restaurants around here that we proudly recommend 19 of them, all within a 5 - 20 mins drive from Lipizzaner Lodge and ALL have received excellent feedback from our guests about the welcome received and the honest, simple great tasting local food!
Quite simply, we will ONLY recommend local restaurants that we have tried ourselves and have gotten good feedback from our guests! We have never looked at what google says for these, we go with our own live experiences and those of our guests, as these are the opinions we trust..
Each restaurant offers a different local speciality.. At "Hruševje", (the only way you can say that name is to pretend to sneeze out loud!) you can try their excellent fish dishes, mushroom or fish soups inside a big bread bun and even local truffles!
There is a little restaurant at a local riding centre where you can choose from several steak dishes made from 100% bio Black Angus cows. And how about this.. the cows are grazing in the fields close to this restaurant eating the delicious, lush green Slovenian grass!
We are also lucky to have the best local pizzeria in this mini region just around the corner at nearby Studenec, which is a big hit with our guests and lovely to sit outside on the terrace there with grapes hanging over..
At nearby Ob Kaminu you can try their trademark Bosnian barbeque, cooked in a huge metal pot over a fire, producing incredibly tender meat and vegetables.
STARTER.. Slightly further afield it is only 30 mins to the Slovenian Mediterranean coast with an excellent choice of seafood.. Some guests even eat out in Italy or Croatia as they are so close and the capital city Ljubljana is just half an hour away!
You could also try the fantastic tasting menu at the best restaurant in Postojna, Storja, (we call it "the Staircase") and if you head towards the sea on the old road you can quickly reach several fantastic local KARST restaurants on the tip of the Teran mini region where you can get your first glass of unique blood red local Teran wine..
Na Ravni specializes in lamb, again from local fields and another restaurant just over the road from there that does a unique Slovenian pasta dish taken with meat or cheese and we are pretty sure you have never tried this before..
Only last year we found yet another special local restaurant on the edge of the Karst that serves amazing Karst dishes and superb gnocchis!
But there are loads of other great places to eat out in every direction. Due to our excellent position, we have even more restaurant tips further afield, depending where you are exploring during your day out and we can let you know what type of food is available and how best to get to your chosen restaurant, if you like..
WINE LIST.. Green Slovenia has 7 completely different wine regions, ALL producing unique wines and 4 of these regions are within a 20-30 min drive of the Lodge.. (we did tell you how lucky we are)! There is just too much stuff to tell you about it all here, so please pop over to our SLOVENIAN WINES page for more info!
There is a great seafood restaurant and some other fantastic Karst restaurants in LOKEV, a lovely little village between nearby Lipica, (the home of the Lipizzaner horse) and the magnificent Skocjan caves, (about 20 mins from the Lodge).
Particularly on a Sunday, this village is full of Italians, popping over the paper border for great food and we would need to book you a table, but Italian people always know where to get a good meal!
A very special mention for the nearby VIPAVA VALLEY..
In our humble opinion, this valley offers the very best eating out experiences in the whole of Green Slovenia if you consider quality, price, level of service and ambience.. there are 5 really excellent restaurants we recommend JUST AROUND THE CORNER in the Vipava valley. All 5 are within just a 20-25 min drive from the Lodge!
Just over the other side of Nanos mountain, some of our guests are lucky enough to explore the Vipava valley for the day, when too many visitors just drive through using the super quick motorway that whisks you through this beautiful wine producing valley en route to a daytrip to the gorges, waterfalls and mountains around the Soca river..
Even if our guests do zip up to see the Soca river and the waterfalls for the day, we still strongly recommend stopping off in the Vipava Valley for an evening meal on the way home to the Lodge..
All of these restaurants would not be out of place in terms of quality in your own capital city, but add the amazing location, top level service & ambience and you won't believe how you can get this kinda quality for that kinda price!
MUSHROOM SOUP..if it is ever on the menu and often it is, then go for it! It will taste like nothing from home as Slovenia is the 3rd most forested country in Europe and so there are a lot of trees and a lot of fresh mushrooms for locals to pick and sell to restaurants.. the result is usually a very good and unique mushroom soup!!
Gregor's Restaurant, Theodosius, close to Vipava old town..
We have known Gregor for years now and he has continually delighted, surprised and looked after our guests with his amazing local Vipava valley dishes. We have gotten excellent feedback from guests about his restaurant close to Vipava on the slopes of Nanos mountain.
The new place is called Theodosius and is on the historic site where 2 Roman brothers' armies of 30,000 and 50,000 troops fought it out for control of the Vipava valley and ultimately the Roman empire! (You can hear more about this story from Gregor if you like, but Theodosius' 30,000 won)!
The restaurant is about 23 minutes away in the beautiful village of Vhrpolje.. Gregor offers several local trout dishes, speciality local seasonal plates and very high quality Vipava style cuisine. He can also prepare anything special the kids would like! You also get to try different local unique Vipava wines with each course..
We can safely say we have NEVER had the same dish here on multiple visits.. there is always something new or seasonal to try!
And before you visit Gregors', why not enjoy a walk around Vipava old town, where seven new rivers flow into this beautiful little town to create the Vipava river.
It is unlikely you will have any space left, but do try to make some to try best ice cream in Slovenia, which is served from a little cafe in Vipava old town that you would never guess even sold ice cream.. but it does and mighty fine gelato too!
MAIN COURSE.. You cannot really get Slovenian food and wine in your own country.. The magic of it all is you will probably already know the ingredients, but it just tastes so much better here.. so our advice is to enjoy it while you are here and we did another Blog about it all in BBC article praising Slovenian Cuisine..
In Vipava Old Town..
We first got to know Gregor at his first restaurant, Podfavorz, in the town of Vipava and this is another excellent recommendation for an evening meal where you can sit by one of those seven mountain springs and see trout jumping out of the water to catch the flies at dusk.
The style is local tasting menu and you need to make time to fully enjoy a meal here, but we have had guests go back again later in their holiday cos they loved it so much here!
(Not far along from that fab ice cream cafe is another fantastic Vipava restaurant that we are going to tell you all about real soon as the chef has reloacted there.. We know his food is amazing, but we want to have a meal first in the new place before we write it up here, so watch this space)!
Slap Village.. Majerija..
Another tricky restaurant to say is located in Slap, a tiny village just before Vipava, surrounded by vineyards.. Majerija offers lots of different high quality courses made with local ingredients.
As an example, a group of Finns came here after a trip to the waterfalls and gorges in the Soca valley.. They chose a 5 course meal accompanied by the very best local wine for each course and had a great time!
The friendly owners also have a home made schnapps cellar where you get taken at the end of your meal and you can choose from which bottle and which amazing local ingredient your glass is filled from.. Cheers!
SIDE DISHES.. Here is something to chew over! The ironic thing about the village of Slap, where Majerija sits, is that Slap means "waterfall" in Slovenian, so in a country packed full with beautiful waterfalls we fully expected to find one here in the village.. but guess what.. there isn't one!
On the other side of Vipava old town there is yet another fantastic restaurant inside an old Roman villa sitting on top of a hill called Zemono.. they have a long tasting menu with incredibly seasonal and imaginative choices..
This is one of Green Slovenia's Michellin star restaurants and we went there for a special birthday meal.. it was fantastic and all you need to know for now was the lemon dessert was brought in with icy smoke coming off it!
Of course there are several other fab restaurants that we tip to guests in the Vipava Valley, but it is all just a little too much for this section, but you could certainly eat out at different fantastic restaurants in JUST this valley for a whole week if you wanted, the choice is that good!
Our Evening Meal.. you can eat at the Lodge too, if you would like!
We completely understand that guests might travel a long way to reach the Lodge or maybe not want to drive at all and have an extra glass of local wine or just chill here for the evening, so we often do our own 3 course evening meal at 7pm in our café or outside on the café terrace for €22 pp (kids portions half price).
We stayed at many different tourist farms when we were first exploring and looking around Slovenia for a location for Lipizzaner Lodge and we really liked what some of them do for an evening meal option..
So the family offer one delicious home cooked meal per evening, using local ingredients and at a reasonable cost, so you can eat in. We have incorporated this great idea into our offer too and as long as you let us know in advance, we can set you a place at the table!
Great News: Every summer we welcome one of Slovenia's top TV chefs to the Lodge most Monday nights! Our friend Rihard Basa cooks up a real Slovenian treat for you, with all the ingredients from his own fields, animals and forest. These evenings have proved very popular with guests.
Take a bike or walk to your chosen local restaurant..
It is also perfectly possible to set off late afternoon and bike or hike to some of the local restaurants we already mentioned.. This is a great way to discover the many hidden routes around Landol and we know numerous off road paths & tracks to recommend, so we can give you the directions and off you go!
It will be even easier to do this now we also have E Bikes to rent at the Lodge from Summer 2022!
And if you want to hike to a local restaurant during the afternoon instead, then it is no probs for us to come pick you up afterwards, but when you see how beautiful the countryside is here, you might even decide to leave much earlier, so you have enough light and time to get to walk back home too!
PUDDINGS.. (known as dessert in the rest of the world)!.. Keep a good look out for the traditional Slovenian desserts, especially if they are home made, as they have some really good ones here!
The easiest one to find will be a CREM SCHNITTA (cream slice) and the best place to eat one of these is at that posh looking cafe with a view across Lake Bled.(Actually for a world class cake & coffee with a world class view it isn't so expensive either)!
But there are others to look out for, POTICA is layered pastry with maybe nuts or raisins inside and takes ages to prepare, so definetely go for that one if you are offered it.
There is also a very heavy cottage cheese layered GIBANICA and various fantastic local STRUDELS to be found around, as well as knockout versions of Italian TIRAMASU and PANNE COTTA.
All are pretty heavy, but wash them down with a coffee or a glass of wine and you will be good to go!
Slovenian Cuisine..wow.. EVERYWHERE you go exploring for the day, it is likely we can recommend a really lovely local restaurant to dine at..
Like we said, you can taste a huge variety of different cuisine influences in Green Slovenia, with all those bordering country influences, (Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia).
So you can look forward to tucking in to a huge choice of pasta, gnocchi, pizzas, very good fish options, (including delicious local trout and sea fish), schnitzels, soups, Bosnian barbeque (fantastic), gulash, Serbian sausages (cevapcici), fresh salads, panna cotta, crema schnitta, lots of different types of home made bread and so much more... yummy!
So, some other fantastic restaurants around Green Slovenia..
We pretty much know a great place to eat, (and it is true there are also some places to avoid) wherever you head off for your days adventure, there is always a place to stop off at, either for lunch or on the way home where you can get to try the excellent local dishes.
We will mention JUST a few of them here now to give you a few tasters and also put some photos below in the gallery to whet your appetite!!
You could have a meal sitting on a terrace in the middle of a vineyard at Gric restaurant in Horseville, (Slovenske Konjice), and try some "horse" wine there.. don't worry it is just the name! This restaurant is a great stop off on the way to the amazing mt Rogla for some great hiking and tree top adventures!
We found the amazing Debeluh restaurant at the end of the old town high st in Brezice, just before the Zagreb border end of Slovenia! The tasting menu was just so good we have to mention it here and if you are anywhere near, then you MUST give it a go!
Brezice has a great castle and it won't be long before they finally also open the huge pink tower in the town too for a great viewpoint and more reason to visit!
Some of our guests have pre booked the best known restaurant in Green Slovenia, up by the Soca river, near Kobarid, called Hisa Franko, where the lady chef is currently double Michelin starred!
And don't forget how close the seaside is to the Lodge! It isn't just a wild claim that you can do a castle a cave or a mountain and a lake here and still have a sunset swim and a fish supper by the Mediterranean sea in one day.. It is true and OUR GUESTS OFTEN DO IT.. what a day out!
There is a really great little restaurant in the coastal hinterland just off the motorway at Koper in a little village called Dekani.. the particular restaurant is called Bric and you can eat some fab fish dishes here with the locals.. (the home made bread there is a reason on it's own to go visit)!
For Ljubljana and Piran there is so much choice that we don't usually recommend a restaurant, as you will find one just strolling around, but for Bled.. well.. let's just say we had enough disappointments there, so we wrote a blog on the subject to help visitors out.. "the best place to eat in Bled.. Radolca" hope it helps!
If you are lucky enough to have enough time for a trip out to the East of Slovenia, then the lovely town of Ptuj is a great place to visit and if you are feeling a bit peckish, just head down to the end of the high street by the river and have a meal at the lovely Ribic restaurant, with a view out to the river and another really fantastic choice of local dishes..
Green Slovenia has hundreds of castles and some of them have restaurants or cafes inside.. We had a really fantastic meal at the fairy tale Bogensperk vampire castle in the castle courtyard..
If you are heading off to the south East of Green Slovenia for the day.. and you should.. then how about having a meal at a castle perched on an island in the middle of a river.. Otocec castle has been turned into an hotel, but you can also eat there and we thoroughly recommend you do, or at least have a cake and a coffee, sat there in the middle of the bottle green Krka river.. wow!
Our final tip here as we whizz you around Green Slovenia is another Vipava valley family restaurant, just another 10 mins further down from Vipava old town in the completely unpronounceabubble town of Adjective!
You can drive up to a secret mountain spring Huberlj and tucked away around the corner is a local restaurant with big umbrellas and forest shade.. It is just so lovely.. the water pounding down the mountain is a constant soothing natural soundtrack to your meal!!
We will be kind to you with the restaurant's name and just translate it into English as.. "the Restaurant at the spring of the Huberlj river"!
For kids and big kids..
And finally, if you fancy a really good burger on your way to the coast or way back from the seaside to Lipizzaner Lodge, then jump off the motorway shortly after Koper at the Hrastovlje junction to Crni Kal and pop into Vikki Burger.. Slovenia's finest Burger bar, (in our humble opinion), with a stunning view over olive groves & vineyards to the Adriatic sea and they also make mighty fine milk shakes too!
You can also totally surprise the kids with a stop off on the way back from the Soca river at a riverside diner, not long after Kanal before Nova Goricia and order a "maxi burger".. which is a burger in a bap almost as big as the table!!
These burgers are served at a roadside wooden hut restaurant right alongside the most beautiful river in Europe and if you can get a space in the car park, then prepare to get massive respect from the kids!!
AFTER DINNER COFFEE.. Here is another really good last piece of advice.. we have so often seen an empty car park or been worried there are no people around and then ALMOST not gone into a restaurant, cos we thought it would be closed..
BUT Slovenia is a very small country indeed with not many people, so our advice is to go try the door and ask if they are open.. they usually are and you will end up with a friendly chat and a very likely a lovely local meal!!
We could go ON and ON and ON with tips for fab Slovenian restaurants, as there are just too many good ones to mention.. (we don't mention the bad ones at all here, but we do warn our own guests)!
And the other amazing final thing not to forget is that if you want to eat Italian food in Italy or Croatian food in Croatia, then both countries are just a short drive away from Lipizzaner Lodge, so you can absolutely have an Italian meal in Italy or a nice fish dish by the sea in Croatia during your day trip from the Lodge.. the food possibilities are really endless here!
We know a great little pizzeria just over the border in Opicina, (an old Slovenian town above Trieste), the menu is in Italian and Slovene and there is a big oak tree growing up through the terrace canopy!
We have guests drive down 25 mins to Trieste to eat in an Italian (used to be Slovenian) city by the sea..
And we like nothing better than popping down to Opatija on the Croatian Istrian coast for a coffee and a croissant.. then maybe stopping off at a fish restaurant in the hills on the way home!
Dober Tek as they say here.. Have a nice meal!